Print Portfoilo Competition 2015

17th February 2015
Press release for the 2015 Print Portfoilo Competition - Joy Allison

Portfolio competitions offer an opportunity for members to show their skills across a diverse range of subjects and styles and the 2015 competition for printed entries was a resounding success. There was a bumper entry with each person submitting a collection of five prints to be viewed as a panel. The standard was very high and competition fierce.

Judge Martin Litchfield from Doncaster had his work cut out seeing the prints for the first time on the night. He commented that it is unusual to have a five print panel, but that it gave us the opportunity to challenge ourselves in subjects and styles away from our pet subject and in doing so improved our photography skills.

The goal is for each print to be technically good and to demonstrate skill in composition, capture and post processing. The prints should be presented in complementary mounts and in an order which gives the panel impact as a whole.

Martin was found to be a fair and consistent judge, picking up on areas where, in his opinion, a different angle or shooting position, less intrusive background, tighter or differently shaped crop or attention to detail removing distractions in the background during processing would have resulted in a stronger image.

He commented constructively on each image in each set, holding back those he felt were the strongest contenders. Two colour sets were presented for review after the initial judging and Martin spoke for everyone present saying that seeing such good photographs together was inspiring. He summed up his dilemma with the remark 'Who'd be a judge?'. Eventually after much thought he awarded top honours to Geoff Stoddart, who scored 20 with Des Lloyd and John Heath sharing second with 19 points.

In the monochrome competition Martin commented additionally about the photographer's eye, which in his view is to some extent God given. This was evident in pattern shots observed in the built environment or in nature. He liked a different approach to a familiar subject and particularly remarked on wildlife images presented in black and white. In this medium good use of light makes even more difference, as do interesting clouds and unwanted highlights.

There were several male portraits in the sets of pictures and Martin commented that he likes to see a different approach to lighting them, ideally less balanced than is used for a flattering female portrait to portray character and strength.

In a particularly strong class Geoff Stoddart again triumphed with 20 points, Pat Oaks and Andrew Paul taking joint second with 19. Five members shared third place with 18 points.

There were only two entries for the enprint class where five standard size prints are displayed to portray a theme. Dick Lewis was declared the winner with his collection of 'Bugs and Butterflies', which Martin considered a more challenging subject than Lesley Wilson's set 'Pinoccio'.

Geoff Stoddart's successful evening was rounded off very nicely when President Alan Burkwood presented him with the gold medal and engraved goblet he had won for his best colour print in the recent N&EMPF competition.

The people of Retford and beyond will have an opportunity to come and see the stunning work the Society's members have produced this year when the annual exhibition is held in the Town Hall on May 9th. This is truly something not to be missed and a date well worth putting in the diary.

Everyone is invited to the meeting on March 2nd when the Projected Image Portfolio competition will be held. If the standard is up to that of the prints it will be a wonderful, inspiring evening.